Meeting of the OECD Global Parliamentary Network in Tokyo
Closing remarks by Angel Gurría
Wednesday 13 April 2016
House of Representatives, National Diet of Japan
(As prepared for delivery)
Distinguished Members of Parliaments, Ladies and Gentlemen,
We have reached the conclusion of this meeting. We have covered very important issues. We have learned a lot about the global economic outlook, disaster risk management and gender inclusion strategies, and we have shared views on the regional challenges of Asian countries.
Once again, we have proved the value of this parliamentary network. Our countries are in great need of innovative policies and effective reforms, and the best way to come up with these solutions is by sharing our experiences, our knowledge. And this is what you have been doing these couple of days. As Steve Johnson argued in his book Where Good Ideas Come From: “The trick to having good ideas is not to sit around in glorious isolation and try to think big thoughts. The trick is to get more parts on the table.” That’s why parliaments can be a powerful source of change and improvement. That’s why this network has become so important.
As members of parliaments, you play a vital role in your countries. You are not only the ‘pulse’ of society, but also translate commitments into concrete, legislative action which tackles today’s multifaceted challenges. You are instrumental in developing the structural reforms that we need to leave the crisis behind, but you are even more relevant in ensuring the complete implementation of these changes. There’s where we face our biggest challenge. Remember, reforms make the headlines, implementation changes lives!
So dear Parliamentarians,
Defend the substance of your legislations. Do not fall prey to vested interests. Beware of policy capture. We need to recover public trust, in governments, in parliaments, in market economies, in political parties, in democracies. The only way to do this is by promoting more resilient, more inclusive and more sustainable growth. And we can do that by learning from each other, by injecting evidence-based analysis in our debates and proposals, by making our governments and regulations more transparent, more effective, more efficient. And by better communication. This is what we are trying to do.
So, thank you all for participating in these meetings. Your views and experiences as members of parliaments are crucial for the OECD and we hope to be also of help to all of you. Let’s keep strengthening this partnership, both through this network but also with your participation in our work at our headquarters.
This year during our OECD Week (31 May–2 June 2016) our Ministerial Council Meeting will be focusing on "Enhancing Productivity for Inclusive Growth" and our Forum on "Productive Economies, Inclusive Societies." I want to take the opportunity to invite you all to participate in these important discussions.
I will now pass the floor to Catherine Candea, who can provide some more information about our OECD Week and the next Global Parliamentary Network meetings.